Silage time is fast approaching and we are still facing volatile input prices, with no definitive picture of future government support.

Jeremy Clarkson is to be applauded for bringing this plight to the public’s attention through season two of Clarkson’s Farm. His analogy – that disappearing subsidies being replaced by an unknown is like FIFA saying they are changing the rules of football without revealing those rules – is spot on. How can a football manager prepare for a match with unknown rules, and how can agriculture prepare for such an uncertain future?

Our response to that is clear. Making quality forage and optimising use of home-grown concentrates is crucial to profitable ruminant production, whatever the circumstances.

Dr George Fisher explains what steps can be taken to make sure your grass is the best it can be in readiness for first cut silage. And he looks at the real cost of forage energy production and what it means to the bottom line.

We look at some recent trial work from Ireland, which highlights the effect of silage digestibility on daily liveweight gain in beef cattle. And independent beef nutritionist, Lizz Clarke, backs up this concept showing the effects of forage quality on liveweight gain.

Whatever the future holds, keeping the middleman out of the yard and maximising the potential from your own land has been proven time after time to be key to success. It is clear an increasing number of farmers are doing just that, four recent  great examples of which are are:

Quality grass and forage bring sweet smell of success

Evidence-based farming reaps rewards

Revolution by stealth on North Yorkshire farm

21st century silage feeds Jurassic beef

We are pleased to release some new products including a new generation of forage cover for clamps and bales providing a high degrees of protection while cutting the need for single-use plastic and we have introduced a trailer for our SilaPactor clamp compaction range.

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